A MAN from Weymouth and his family raised more than £5,000 for charity with a gruelling walking challenge.

Matthew Barkle, 32, manager of the New Vic on the Esplanade, took part in the Isle of Wight Challenge with his brother Ryan, 35, and father Anthony, 60.

The trio walked more than 180 miles between them in aid of CLIC Sargent, which provides help and support for children living with cancer.

Ryan and Anthony completed the 66-mile course and Matthew made it to the 52-mile mark.

The group, who called themselves the Barkle Ramblers, raised £5,200 for the charity, exceeding their original target of £5,000.

They were inspired to take on the challenge when Ryan's three-year-old daughter Abi was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), which is an incurable but treatable form of cancer.

It is very rare that CML affects children and it most commonly occurs after or during middle age.

Ryan said: "Hearing that your child has cancer is like having your insides ripped out and stamped on.

"Once you get over the shock, the support provided by family, friends, Treetops Nursery, CLIC Sargent and the care from the NHS has been overwhelming.

"This challenge is a way to do something to say thank you to the charity that has helped the most during this difficult time."

Matthew said: "Because it is not curable, she is going to be in and out of hospital for the rest of her life.

"With people always giving money to cancer research, there might be a cure in a few more years.

"We chose CLIC Sargent because the nurses have helped so much with advice and by putting us in touch with other people who are going through the same thing."

Matthew embarked on the long distance challenge as part of a dramatic weight loss journey.

He shed more than five stone during his training, dropping from a weight of 20 stone at his biggest.

Matthew said: "I couldn't even walk a mile to the bus before, so it has been quite emotional.

"It was one of the toughest things I have ever taken on.

"We camped at the halfway stage and all of our spirits kept up.

"I have got some severe war wounds - blisters on blisters."